Well, it's time for another trip here in LA, now that "winter" is here. The bugs are mostly gone, most of us have shot a deer, it's raining again (so there's water to drink in the streams), humidity is down, and the daytime temps are reasonable. Forestree and I are going to do an overnighter 10/11 Dec 2016 up in the Kisatchie Hills Wilderness area. For those who don't know, it's about 15 miles SSE of Natchitoches, off the Derry exit (119) of I-49. We plan to meet up around 0930 at the north trailhead of the Backbone Trail (near Parish Road 830 and Montrose Rd/FR 339, about 100 yards up Montrose). Anyone who'd like to go is invited, just be aware this is not an easy trip. We will walk the Backbone until it intersects the High Ridge Trail, then follow it out almost to its end. It would be about 3.25 miles to a "normal" campsite (with a stream that sometimes has water in it, maybe, occasionally) but we'd like to head a bit off trail (about an additional 1/2 mile) to a backcountry site. It's not hard, per se, as there are game trails to follow in places, but nothing in the way of a maintained trail. Mostly, we'll be following ridgelines, which tend to be more open than the lower areas, though some are scrubby. There is no water near that site for most of the year, and due to the drought we've experienced in the last few months, I doubt there is anything now. I did find a seep nearby a couple years back, but the pigs have turned it into a wallow. I have carried 6-8 quarts of water in the past, which should be adequate, if heavy. (I normally stash a quart near the 2.5 mile mark for recovery on the way out, which saves me some trouble.) On Sunday, I'd like to push further in to explore some hilltops and ravines I've not visited before, see if I can find some water sources for future use, have lunch "out", and then return to the trailhead by mid-late afternoon. Not sure how much of that I'll/we'll get done, but the area is beautiful and worth a trip on its own. If temps hold "normal", hi/lo will be 63 and 41, but record extremes are in the 20s/30s and up into the 70s... It is also windy on those hilltops (about the only place you can camp. Froze my arse off last time I was there trying to get by with just a poncho.) So here's what it looks like. The blue arrows are where I'd like to camp and explore, and the white arrows are where there might be water. Here are some shots of a trip I did there last March. The map: I'm showing 2 previous forays into the area. On that trip, I finally connected the dots. Camp.